Tennessee Women's Basketball 2013 NCAA Tournament Capsule

Tennessee Lady Volunteers
SEC (24-7, 14-2)


A new era opened up in Knoxville this year as the Lady Volunteers spent their first full season under the guidance of Head Coach Holly Warlick. You didn’t hear too much about this team because of flashier players like Skylar Diggins at Notre Dame and Brittney Griner at Baylor, but Tennessee put together one of the quietest strong campaigns by a first-year head coach. There were several solid winning streaks mixed in with a couple disappointments, but the end result is this team is headed back to the NCAA tournament and another 25-win season is very much a possibility for the history books.

Big Wins: 12/2 North Carolina (102-57), 1/3 at South Carolina (73-53), 2/28 Texas A&M (82-72)
Bad Losses: 11/9 at Chattanooga (71-80), 2/3 at Missouri (63-80), 3/3 at Kentucky (65-78)
Coach: Holly Warlick

Why They Can Surprise:
Tennessee’s top scorers range between eight and 17 points per game, so there is no shortage of players that can put the ball in the basket. Meighan Simmons leads the way at 17.5 points per game, and she possesses a healthy shooting touch and a knack for finding the basketball when the opponent has it. In short, she is both an offensive and defensive threat to be reckoned with in games. Bashaara Graves is successful on over half of her shooting attempts and Taber Spani is one of the top 3-point shooting threats Tennessee has. As far as games Tennessee has lost, there have been some blowouts, but the Volunteers came within 10 points of Notre Dame and four points of Texas A&M. The only team to really blow out Tennessee was Baylor, and that was by 23 points. If they can find a way to shut down some of the game’s top talent, this team could win a couple times in unexpected fashion in postseason play.

Why They Can Disappoint:
Where Tennessee has been strong, Simmons may be a bit too strong. Simmons was the top scorer in 18 of the Volunteers’ contests, including a stretch of five games in a row early in the season. If Simmons has a bad night it is possible Spani, Graves and others could pick up the slack, but it’s questionable this late in the season. Also, Tennessee has to avoid disappointing games like the season opener, an 80-71 loss to Chattanooga that had a lot of people wondering if the Warlick era at Tennessee was going to be a disappointment. Oh, sure, it was just one game, but when you’re replacing a legend like Pat Summitt then all bets are off.

Probable Starters:
Ariel Massengale, Sophomore, Guard, 7.9 ppg, 4.6 apg
Meighan Simmons, Junior, Guard, 17.5 ppg, 2.1 apg, 3.7 rpg
Kamiko Williams, Senior, Guard, 6.8 ppg, 2.5 apg, 4.1 rpg
Tabor Spani, Senior, Guard/Forward, 11.0 ppg, 4.5 rpg
Bashaara Graves, Freshman, Forward/Center, 13.8 ppg, 8.3 rpg

Key Roleplayers:
Cierra Burdick, Sophomore, Forward, 8.3 ppg, 6.9 rpg
Jasmine Jones, Freshman, Forward, 4.6 ppg, 3.9 rpg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 78.3 (4th in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 63.4 (215, 11)
Field-Goal Percentage: 44.9 (14, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 37.8 (128, 9)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.1 (149, 5)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 35.9 (16, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 75.8 (21, 1)
Rebound Margin: 7.3 (25, 2)
Assists Per Game: 15.2 (48, 5)
Turnovers Per Game: 16.1 (106, 8)

Recent Postseason Appearances:
2012    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Tennessee-Martin
2012    NCAA    Round of 32 win over DePaul
2012    NCAA    Regional Semifinal win over Kansas
2012    NCAA    Regional Final loss to Baylor
2011    NCAA    Round of 32 win over Marquette
2011    NCAA    Regional Semifinal win over Ohio State
2011    NCAA    Regional Final loss to Notre Dame
2011    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Stetson
2010    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Austin Peay
2010    NCAA    Round of 32 win over Dayton
2010    NCAA    Regional Semifinal win over Baylor
2009    NCAA    Round of 64 loss to Ball State
2008    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Oral Roberts
2008    NCAA    Round of 32 win over Purdue
2008    NCAA    Regional Semifinal win over Notre Dame
2008    NCAA    Regional Final win over Texas A&M
2008    NCAA    National Semifinal win over LSU
2008    NCAA    National Final win over Stanford

*all team stats through 3/7


See All Women’s Basketball Postseason Capsules